Saxon, Hell, Beyond the Black – Leeds Academy 2 December 2014


First band up tonight are Beyond the Black who feature an interesting collection of songs in their short set. They are fronted by a great singer, hope we hear some more of them in the future.
Second band Hell were greeted like long lost heroes by the majority of the crowd. I have to put my hand up at this point and declare that I know nothing about them. Somehow they passed me by on my heavy metal journey. Their presentation is very theatrical and the soaring voice of singer David Bower is the real signature sound of the band. They get a really good reception from everyone around me, but to be honest I’m not sure I fully understood what they were about.

No need to worry about my knowledge of the headline act tonight as I’ve seen them regularly over the last 34 years. After the intro of it’s a Long way to the Top they start up this evening with Motorcycle Man the first thing that struck me was the quality of the sound. It was loud but very clear. Each element of the band could be picked out, a big well done to the sound man.
The set list tonight is a greatest hits from the last 35 years with a strong element coming from the holy trinity of albums Wheels of Steel, Strong Arm of the Law and Denim and Leather. They played
1.            Motorcycle Man
2.            Sacrifice
3.            Power and the Glory
4.            Solid Ball of Rock
5.            Lionheart
6.            Strong Arm of the Law
7.            Forever Free
8.            I've Got to Rock (To Stay Alive)
9.            20.000 Feet
10.          And the Bands Played On
11.          Frozen Rainbow
12.          Crusader
13.          To Hell and Back Again
14.          Suzie Hold On
15.          This Town Rocks
16.          Princess of the Night

Encore
17.          Wheels of Steel
18.          Never Surrender
19.          Denim and Leather

I thought it was great to hear Suzie Hold On live again, a great song that is not a regular on the set list. Another highlight was a great version of I’ve got to Rock to stay Alive, the song that it could be said reignited Saxon’s career, but no room for 747 Strangers in the Night.
Another great show from one of the UK’s top rock acts.

As you will know drummer Nigel Glocker was taken ill on 8 December and the rest of the UK dates have had to be rescheduled to February 2015.
Rockgig pass on our best wishes to Nigel and his family.

 NH

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